Civilian Space eXploration Team

Launched May 17, 2004

Many thanks and congratulations go out to the entire CSXT team. This group did an amazing job of combining and executing so many disciplines. Thanks in particular...  To Ky, for never losing heart and keeping your eye on the prize. To Jerry, for working so hard to bring together and orchestrate such a complex program. To Korey, for keeping me sane and watching out for the "gotcha's". To Eric and Rod, for putting together a great electronics package. To Chuck, for being there for me when I needed someone to think things through. To GoFast, for having enough faith in all of us to put your money where your mouth is. To Fuscient, for showing faith when the program was most in need. To Stratofox, for persistence in finding the payload. To all the other team members, for their tireless efforts and sleepless nights.

Official Altitude Press Release

Flight Data

Sunrise on Launch Day

The "GoFast" Rocket

Diameter:   10" OD

Length:   21 feet

Liftoff weight:   724 lbs

Propellant weight:   435 lbs

Motor Classification:   S-50,150

Max Altitude:   72 miles

Max Velocity:   Mach 5

Video of the Launch

Above and below photo by Ian Kluft

See all of his images at

Bruce Kelly and Chuck Rogers inspect the fincan with Ky

Check out the diameter of the nozzle exit plane

above and below by Ian Kluft

Ky Michaelson at the switch

The Payload section is found!!

above and below by Ian Kluft

Korey Kline and I were the  newest members of the CSXT team joining only six months before the launch. During that time, in collaboration with Ky and Jerry, we designed, developed, and built the largest amateur rocket motor ever. The solid propellant motor contained a derivation of the propellant that I have used for my O and P motors for the past few years. The motor is designated as an S-50,000 containing 435 lbs of AP based propellant configured in a monolithic case-bonded grain with a central fin-o-cyl core with a nearly neutral thrust profile. The case was aluminum 6061 with an OD of 10" and 175" long. The end closures were retained with two rows of radial bolts. The nozzle was created from a new process using a combination of graphite, carbon fiber, and ablative materials and featured a bell shaped exit cone. A number of static tests were performed on 3" and 6" hardware to characterize the propellant. A full scale static firing revealed issues with the motors end closures that were corrected for the flight motor. Chuck Rogers assisted in designing the test configurations and in addressing issues such as erosive burning and nozzle losses. The in-flight motor performance was backed out of the CSXT GoFast flight acceleration data and netted a total impulse of 92,429 lb-sec for a delivered Isp of 212.5 seconds.

L to R: Jerry Larson, Derek Deville, Dennis Moreno, Alex Espinosa, Ed Ampuero, and Korey Kline

The Composite Nozzle

Hanging out at the Test Stand

NightVision of the port

The discovered/recovered booster as seen from the air

6" Characterization P-motor generating over 1800 lbs of thrust for 7 seconds.




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